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Caroline Manning

Caroline Manning

Runner and media buyer

What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
Being active is a way of life for me and I played various team sports before I reached a stage in life where work travel meant committing to a team became increasingly onerous.  Sick of only seeing the inside of taxis, hotels and offices in the cities I was working in, I decided to pack my running kit and a pocket camera and I would fit in an hour of running tourism before work every day.  I started entering races that fitted in with my schedule and I enjoyed the thrill of bettering my previous times over each distance. I keep running now because I'm never quite satisfied with my times and think I can do better.

What is your typical weekly training routine?
It always involves a parkrun, a faster track session, some tempo time and a long one each week (how long depends on what I'm training for - I race most distances from 1500m to ultra marathons).  I also throw in a couple of weights sessions and some TRX each week.  Having had a baby this Spring I've embraced a steep learning curve of actually listening to my body, refocusing on the core and using whatever 'free' time I have to run with gusto.  The lack of control has been interesting - if running during nap time I am never sure whether I'll get 20 minutes or 60 minutes of training in, but anything is better than nothing!

Do you run with a club or a group?
Pre-baby I did my track training with Kent AC, my tempo runs with a group of like-minded individuals from work (we would run commute at least once a week) and I did my long runs alone.  Since becoming a mum and trying to get training to fit in with a little person's eating/sleeping schedule, I have found it easiest to take my boy down to the track with me at a time that suits us on the day, and so I currently do almost all my training alone and on the track! 

Where’s the strangest place you’ve run?
Nowhere particularly strange, although I'm forever thankful to have my Garmin logging all my runs on my travels as they trigger valuable memories.

What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
I don't actually listen to music when I run.  I stopped when I took to the trails instead of the treadmill and now prefer to tune in to my body, my head and the surroundings.

Is it just for the fun of it? Or for the results?
I run because I like the feeling of accomplishment.  No matter what else happens to me that day, if I have started it with a run then I know I have achieved something and it gives me an addictive inner calm.

What is the best bit of advice you’ve had from another runner?
"To run faster, run with people who are faster than you".  I was trying to get my marathon time down a few years ago and an Ironman-type fellow from work suggested I join a club to both gain some structure to my training and get my speed up.  It worked!

What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Slow or fast, forward is forward.

What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
It would have to be the rain jacket in light grey, it's beautiful. It never gets too cold in the UK but I'm well accustomed to drizzle and being damp is miserable. I'm counting down the days until the women's kit is launched as I've heard rave reviews from male friends about the race shorts.

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